I was away last week and for large swaths of time had no internet access. I also had even more time without any phone connectivity.
I learned a lot about this inability to connect quickly.
People don’t pay attention to what you tell them. “I have no internet or phone where I am” fell on deaf ears. When I was in range, I’d have 20 texts and emails and voice mails asking me why I wasn’t responding. “I’m away” has no bearing on others wanting your attention. How dare I not be available right NOW!
It has also taught me that I can be away from social media but it’s going to take a lot of willpower. Why you ask? Well, here it is. It has finally occurred to me what Facebook or Instagram is like. It is like one of these:
- A bad car accident that you just have to look at even though you know it’ll upset you (or fill you with envy).
- A place to get information on friends because nobody calls (or emails) to let you know anything anymore. Without FB, you often don’t know what is going on with anyone or anywhere — how many events will I miss if I don’t see anything on FB? Good question. Friend going out of town? Read about it on FB or Instagram .
- Friends like to drink. Apparently a lot.
- That Christmas letter you used to get once a year? Yeah, now it’s every day. Just as annoying but you get to be annoyed by how perfect their lives seem to be every – single – day.
I have tried to cut down on FB (I don’t use Instagram much). I have almost totally stopped posting anything very personal. I’m not posting pictures of my food (unless I’m doing a restaurant review), selfies, pictures of where I am, and other pictures that say “hey! look at me!!
I mostly enjoy those pictures and posts that are of flowers, sunsets, puppies, kitties, other cute critters, books and music.
Considering that all I seem to post lately are political posts and about reading, or puppies, kitties and other cute critters, I don’t really know why I even bother.
Hmmm. That’s a thought.
Ever since my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been asking myself, why I bother to eat right and exercise. Dad did yoga and walked and lifted some weights for years. Dad ate very sensibly all of his life, even trying vegetarianism for a while. He stopped smoking when he was around 40 years old.
Cancer still bit him in the ass. In the 15 months from his diagnosis to his death, that suckie cancer drained all the vitality from that man. I admit I’m resentful. So much for good health practices (not to mention my grandmother’s good genetics which didn’t help either).
I saw this cartoon by Roz Chast on The New Yorker Magazine FB feed and was reminded, yeah, don’t be crazy with either diet or exercise because they are not a free pass.
Mind, I don’t eat dairy or grains or much sugar or nightshades. Why do I bother? Because I get sick when I eat those things and I’m very much alive and really dislike the stomach bloat and upset as well as the general feeling of malaise that sometimes occurs when I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t (whether deliberate or cross-contaminated).
But I am not going to make myself insane counting calories or macros or shoving an extra serving of greens into my gullet at 10 p.m. because I’m one serving short that day. I think those days are over.
I also think those days of trying to push more and more weights and making myself puke from exercise are over as well. In fact, I just read about a study about yoga , which piggy backed on a study about tai chi, both of which found that yoga and tai chi were very effective forms of exercise — without weight lifting and heavy cardio. Thank God! I’m so tired of the aches and pains that I now have in my body from all that joint and muscle pressure I put on myself for the last number of years and I just want things that help me feel better. I’m done counting steps and if anyone locally wants my Fitbit, I might just sell it to you for a deep discount (hardly worn).
I want to maintain my balance and flexibility, and be able to breath. Those are much more important goals than anything else.
Because what I’ve learned over the last 18 months is that truly, we make plans and God laughs. We have no guarantees in this world. I think it’s more important to be happy. That seems to me to be a much better goal than counting steps and macros.